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By Thomas E. Randall

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An emblematic association exists between meat consumption and the gender identity hegemonic masculinity. This association is so strong that men who pursue meatless diets (especially vegans) are likely to be socially ostracized. Heganism is a diet/gender identity that aims to reconstruct hegemonic masculinity with the goal of removing these stigmas attached to male veganism. Yet heganism fails to do this, and, in fact, worsens the marginalization of male vegans. Therefore, heganism ought to be rejected. Instead, an alternative option for reducing the marginalization of male vegans could be found in the emergent literature on non-hegemonic masculinities. By rejecting hegemonic masculinity and publicizing the range of other masculine identities that exist, there is an opportunity for men to utilize their agency and interpret masculinity in their own way – especially with regards to dietary preference. In this way, focusing on non-hegemonic masculinities offers an encouraging avenue for reducing the social stigmas attached to male veganism.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Publication Title Between the Species
Volume 22
Issue 1
Pages 22
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Food animals
  3. Gender
  4. Meat.
  5. open access
  6. Vegetarianism and veganism
  1. open access